Supporters of a New York City bar owner gathered in front of the business Wednesday to protest his arrest for flouting coronavirus restrictions and refusing to shut down. Around 60 folks assembled in front of Mac’s Public House in Staten Island after its co-owner, Danny Presti, was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday night.
Many businesses — significantly restaurants and bars — have been impacted severely by government-mandated closures in an endeavor to curb the spread of COVID-19. Holding signs, the protesters sang “God Bless America” and the chorus to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.
The bar has been fined thousands of dollars as it continues serving patrons indoors and operating past the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurant service that Cuomo imposed citywide. Plainclothes New York City Sheriff’s deputies were inside the bar on Tuesday and ordered food in exchange for an obligatory Sforty donation.
Uniformed deputies then entered and issued tickets for the town and state violations. Presti, 34, was uncooperative and was charged with obstruction of governmental administration in addition to the charges stemming from unauthorized food and beverage service, the sheriff said.
The governor’s office criticized Mr. McAlarney for putting politics over pandemic safety.“This owner is learning that actions have consequences,” said Jack Sterne, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo. “Breaking the law and putting your neighbors’ lives at risk during a global pandemic to form a political statement is simply unacceptable.
Regarding the bar declaring itself an autonomous zone, Mitch Schwartz, a mayoral spokesman, said, “COVID-nineteen doesn’t respect autonomous zones, and neither will the sheriff – there are consequences for endangering your neighbors during a pandemic.
Mr. Presti’s arrest came shortly when many plainclothes deputies sat down within Mac’s and ordered food and alcohol in exchange for a necessary “donation” of $forty. They observed alternative patrons were doing the identical, said town’s sheriff, Joseph Fucito.
Deputies then issued appearance tickets for multiple violations of town and state laws and ordered Mr. Presti to depart. When he refused, he was arrested, said Mark J. Fonte, a lawyer for the bar’s owners. Mr. Fonte claimed that the city was making an example of the bar for its vocal resistance to “onerous restrictions that may place them out of business.
He said that Mac’s was already struggling this fall as a result of restrictions solely allowed the owners to seat customers at 25 percent normal capability. Those limits apply to all or any indoor dining and drinking in New York Town.
When the realm was designated an orange zone because of its surge in virus cases, with indoor service banned, “it just crushed them, thus they are doing something doable to try to survive,” Mr. Fonte said.
Still, Mr. McAlarney said he was not persuaded that restrictions on bars were effective in stopping the unfold of the virus and questioned the govt’s role in regulating gatherings. “If you’re feeling that it is not safe to go out, then choose to remain home,” he said.
Although several bar owners have bridled at the pandemic restrictions inhibiting their businesses, most have abided by them, often by accommodating drinkers legally outside, on sidewalks, parking heaps, and street areas – and serving them food, at the state’s insistence.
But Mr. McAlarney, who said he sunk his life savings to open the bar a year ago, said he felt compelled to resist the city’s “bully tactics.”n Tuesday, deputies from town’s sheriff’s office arrested Danny Presti, the bar manager, for obstructing governmental administration.
They led him away in handcuffs as protesters and loyal customers heckled them. On Wednesday night, protesters gathered outside the bar, many holding American flags and shouting chants against Mr. Cuomo.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. McAlarney said he felt he had to require a stand against a whiplash of restrictions that are hurting businesses like his.
I was attempting to get their attention thus that they’d work with the trade instead of being lazy with their choices and just closing things down,” he said from within his bar as a phalanx of deputy sheriffs outside kept customers from entering.